With the oppressive summer heat, you may find yourself wondering how to feed your family without making the situation worse in your home. If you have no air conditioning this can be vital, and if you do you still risk making your unit work harder than it truly needs to. It doesn’t take long into a hot summer to get sick of sandwiches and need to find a bit of verity for your family. A few changes to your menu and a different way of cooking will help keep your home cool and your family fed.
Feeding your family without heating your home is easier than you think.
1. Feed your family more fresh produce.
Fresh fruit makes a great no-cook snack or even a quick breakfast. Salads take no heat to prepare and the high water content will help keep your family hydrated on hot summer days. For picky kids mix fruits and vegetables together in a salad and teach them to take bites with a bit of both.
2. No-Cook Lunches
Make your own deli trays with deli meat, cheese, and crackers for an easy no-cook lunch that kids will love. Similar to Lunchables from the store, but without all of the added packaging and processing. When you have many mouths to feed this option is a great frugal way to feed your crew without heating up the house.
3. The GRILL!
Take your cooking out to the grill. A grill is a great way to cook outside on hot summer days. You can cook nearly anything out on a grill from meat to veggies and you can even use your gill to bake. While baking in your grill takes some trial and error to master you can start with easy things like tossing your frozen pizza on the grill rather than into the oven to heat up your home. For this one, you will need a good thermometer on your grill and to keep a close eye because it will cook much faster on the grill than in the oven. Put your pizza on the grill once it reaches the temperature the directions intrust you to preheat your oven to. (Grilled pizza is DELISH!)
4. Small Kitchen Appliances
Use countertop cooking appliances. If you have an Instant Pot, it will become your friend on a hot summer day. Cooking in a closed device reduces the amount of heat released into your home. Use your Instant Pot for everything from side dishes to the main course, and even baking desert. To help keep things cooler in your kitchen, you can take the Instant Pot outside to release the pressure rather than release the steam and humidity into the house.
5. Slow Cook on the Porch or Deck
If you are using an Instant Pot or slow cooker, you can grab an extension cord and opt to set up your cooking outside instead of in the house. If you worry about attracting animals that may attempt to steal your dinner put a laundry basket or milk crate over top of your slow cooker and put a few heavy objects on top to keep animals from sneaking your dinner. I started doing this when I was pregnant with son #3 years ago, because I couldn’t handle the smell inside the house but we couldn’t afford to eat out much. I’ve done it off and on over the years, as needed.
And just like that, you’re not heating things up in the kitchen, when the triple digit temps are raging outdoors.